Congress is considering a wide range of legislative proposals that seek to address the continuing opioid crisis. The following committees have tackled this topic recently:
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) approved S. 2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, comprised of 40 proposals to address the opioid crisis through such mechanisms as grants to states for prevention, response and treatment of the opioid crisis; accelerating research on non-addictive pain medication; and revisions to FDA authorities.
- On May 9, 2018, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved 25 bills to address the opioid crisis. Specific areas addressed by the legislation include funding for National Institutes of Health research on new non-addictive pain medications, establishment of Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers, the use of electronic health records by behavioral health providers, an evaluation of the use of abuse-deterrent opioids in Medicare plans, and Medicare drug plan drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries, among many others. A second full Committee markup is scheduled on May 17, 2018 to consider another 34 opioid-related bills. Earlier, the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved 56 bills focused on addressing the opioid crisis and held hearings on the privacy of substance use disorder treatment records and opioid distribution practices.
On May 16, the Ways and Means Committee is marking up an additional package of bills to address the opioid crisis (HR 5774, Combatting Opioid Abuse for Care in Hospitals (COACH) Act; HR 5775, Providing Reliable Options for Patients and Educational Resources (PROPER) Act; HR 5776, Medicare and Opioid Safe Treatment (MOST) Act; HR 5773,“Preventing Addiction for Susceptible Seniors (PASS) Act; HR 5676, Stop Excessive Narcotics in our Retirement (SENIOR) Communities Protection Act; HR 5723, Expanding Oversight of Opioid Prescribing and Payment Act; and HR __, Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act of 2017). In addition, on May 17, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the following bills: S 2645, Access to Increased Drug Disposal Act of 2018; S 2535 Opioid Quota Reform Act; S 2789 Substance Abuse Prevention Act; S 207, Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act of 2017; S.__, Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act of 2018; and S_ Preventing Drug Diversion Act of 2018.